Offshores make Volkanovski favorite in potential rematch against Holloway

Although a rematch hasn’t been booked yet, two offshore betting shops opened odds today on the next fight for the UFC’s featherweight championship.

5Dimes made new champion Alexander Volkanovski a -175 favorite to defend his strap for the first time against former 145-pound kingpin, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway.

Since the odds came out, 5Dimes has adjusted Volkanovski to a -190 ‘chalk’, leaving Holloway at +150 on the comeback. SportBet opened the 31-year-old Aussie as a -169 favorite before adjusting his price to -184. Sportbet has Holloway as a +156 underdog.

Volkanovski (21-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) won a unanimous decision (48-47, 50-45, 48-47) over Holloway to win the belt in the UFC 245 co-main event on Dec. 14 in Las Vegas. Volkanovski has won 18 consecutive fights and hasn’t tasted defeat since 2013.

Holloway saw his 13-fight winning streak snapped last April when he dropped a UD to Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title at UFC 237. He bounced back by winning a UD over Frankie Edgar to successfully defend his featherweight belt for the third time, only to come up short against Volkanovski.

In his last two Octagon appearances, ‘The Great’ has defeated the two greatest featherweights in the sport’s history, Holloway and Jose Aldo. You could certainly make the argument that Chad Mendes is the third-best featherweight of all-time, and that’s who Volkanovski beat by second-round knockout at UFC 232 to earn a shot at Aldo.

Speaking of Aldo, he’s been booked to face Henry Cejudo for the bantamweight strap at UFC 250 on May 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to a report earlier today from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto.

Also, women’s flyweight champ Valentina Shevchenko has been booked to make her next title defense against Joanne Calderwood at UFC 251. Shevchenko opened as a -1200 ‘chalk’ at BetOnline, with Calderwood as a +800 underdog.

Furthermore, odds were released Sunday for the UFC on ESPN+ 30 headliner between Walt ‘The Big Ticket’ Harris and Alistair Overeem. 5Dimes opened Harris as a -210 favorite, but those odds have been reduced to -165.

Overeem, who is off a Hail Mary KO loss to Jairzinho Rozenstruik with four seconds remaining in the fifth round of their bout on Dec. 7, is a +135 underdog. ‘The ‘Reem’ had won back-to-back fights over Sergei Pavlovich and Alexey Oleynik via first-round KOs before losing to Rozenstruik.

Harris is returning to the Octagon for the first time since the tragic death of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard, who was found murdered in Macon County, Alabama, this past November.

Blanchard was reported missing in late October when Harris were prepping for his scheduled fight against Overeem in the UFC Washington D.C. main event. He pulled out of the fight on Nov. 1

Harris (21-7-1 MMA, 15-6-1 UFC) will be fighting in a five-round bout for the first time in his career. He has won back-to-back fights with first-round KOs that lasted a combined 62 seconds.

Harris should be riding a four-fight winning streak, but his UD win over Andrei Arlovski at UFC 232 was changed to a no-contest when he tested positive for the banned substance, LGD-4033. Only three of Harris’s 22 career UFC fights have gone the distance.

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